Palm Leaf Weaving
Palm-leaf weaving is a part of cultural heritage in Pulicat.Generations of women at Pulicat have been creating magic with their palm leaf baskets and artefacts. In combinations of pink, green, blue, red, and yellow, palm leaves are being woven into baskets, pencil boxes, fruit and jewellery boxes, pen stands, rattles and coasters.
According to oral tradition, their present craft is linked to baskets made for the Dutch settlers during the period of the East India Company. Men harvest the leaves and they are separated from the stalk and dried. The women remove the midrib and make splits used to weave baskets and containers. Woven baskets are made for local use. Newer products and containers are made by the coiling technique.
There are predominantly 2 types of weaves- thadukumodachal (resembles small, diagonal checks) and thuppimodhachal (big checks).The palm leaves used for making these designs come from places around Pulicat. Surprisingly,Pulicat does not have palm trees! The leaves are then dried in the sun, their ribs are removed and sorted out, the leaves are cut into thin strips, dyed in boiling water and again dried. These dried strips are then woven into the desired design. To ensure pliability, the leaves are constantly moisturized during the weaving process. The ribs of the palm leaves are used to provide the framework for the designs.